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The House of Culture shows us when Picasso became flamenco

The contemporary culture center of the Provincial Council, La Térmica, as part of its program of activities in the province, has inaugurated today, February 2, the exhibition And Picasso remembered flamenco in the courtyard of the Casa de la Cultura in Benalmádena.

This was announced today by the Councilor for Culture of the Benalmádena City Council, Pablo Centella, together with the provincial deputy Francisco José Martín, the artist Emmanuel Lafont and the author of the texts Francis Mármol, during the presentation of the exhibition.

The exhibition is made up of 19 pieces and an unpublished work by the visual artist Emmanuel Lafont, based on texts from the homonymous book by Francis Mármol, a journalist specializing in this musical genre.

For his part, Martín celebrated that “this exhibition is one of the first cultural activities of the Malaga Provincial Council on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the death of the most universal painter from Malaga. This initiative is joined by the La Malagueta Cultural Center, the MVA and the exhibition space of the Provincial Council with different samples in relation to the figure of Picasso”.

The exhibition has the collaboration of the French Alliance of Malaga, after being produced and exhibited in its center in 2018, it will tour the province for the first time at the hands of La Térmica.

Emmanuel Lafont, an Argentine author living in Malaga, has worked the chapters of this novelized book one by one to create his own graphic story made up of 20 scenes that form a parallel narrative with a dove as the protagonist that symbolically traverses this sequence of fictional and real memories. . All his works are created with graphite on paper in a medium format and accompanied by some flamenco lyrics that define their spirit.

For his part, Francis Mármol provides each painting with extracts from the original text that give clues as to who the characters are represented and what are the stories they tell.

Big names will parade through the exhibition such as the cantaor Juan Breva, La Trini, Pepita Oliva, the bailaora La Cuenca, La Rubia de Málaga y el Canario, El Piyayo, el Negro Meric, Félix el Loco, Pepito Vargas, Manitas de Plata, Gades or Antonio the Dancer, who even without being -most- figuratively in Lafont’s images will appear in relation to the painter of the Plaza de la Merced through symbolic or abstract elements.

Based on true events, but fictionalized

The stories in the book, like the exhibition, are inspired by real events from his childhood that appear in many cases in newspapers of the time but it is not known if he lived in the first person. And in others more reliable of their maturity than if they are known from their biographies.

If some of Picasso’s references and his contact with the gypsies of Malaga are authentic, who taught him to “smoke through his nose”, for example, and his encounters with El Piyayo or the surrealist Negro Meric, whom he had to know by the streets of his city, or of those who at least knew about his music.

Reference is made to Lagartijo, one of the great bullfighters of his time. He refers to the case of the bailaora Trinidad Huertas La Cuenca who triumphed in Paris or New York in those years dressed as a bullfighter and seems to be the first case of drag in the history of Spanish entertainment.

Emmanuel Lafont, visual artist

His work is generally autobiographical or based on his particular perception of the world. At the same time, he investigates the mechanism of the creative process and how the environment influences it. He recognizes an unconditional love for graphite, ink and the most ‘artisanal’ processes (drawing, engraving and sculpture). But the need to search for new languages encourages him to try different techniques and forms of representation; such as the installation or the video.

Francis Marble, journalist

He has worked for media such as the newspaper El Mundo, Correo de Málaga or Marca. He has previously written two books on the bailaor Carrete de Málaga and the cantaor Camarón de la Isla. From 2005 to 2011 he was responsible for the press in Málaga en Flamenco and later he also directed the flamenco cycle at the Carmen Thyssen Museum in Málaga for two years. He has written numerous articles on flamenco and participated in congresses and events of the genre.



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